Samsung Galaxy A71 – A Big Display All-Rounder

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
Wed, 29 Apr'20
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Introduction

Samsung is one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. It is the most notable brand using the Android OS. The Galaxy Series of Samsung, first launched in June 2009, has remained a top-rated smartphone series since. The smartphones from the Galaxy Series were among the first to make waves in the tech industry and were a huge hit among consumers.
The latest entrant in the series, Samsung Galaxy A71, was launched on 9th April 2020. The phone is equipped with a 6.7-inch touchscreen and gets powered by an octa-core processor that comes with 8GB of RAM. It is also set up with 128 GB internal storage with support on expandable storage up to 1000 GB. The Samsung Galaxy A71 5G on the rear packs a quad-camera setup and a 32-MP camera on the front for selfies. More on the cameras later.
The internals are quite updated with One UI 2.0 based on Android 10 out of the box and a 4500mAh battery along with 25W dash charger support.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A71 starts from Rs.31,500 price in India. It comes in a single variant which the one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Silver and Prism Crush Blue are the available colour options. The Galaxy A71 is available online via Amazon and Samsung online store. You can also purchase it offline via Samsung authorized retailers and stores.

Box Contents

The latest mid-range from Samsung is being specifically praised for its sleek design and smooth finish. The phone box also comes with a plastic glass cover, thereby saving the need to purchase a separate cover. Other essentials also include- a Type C port, a 25W fast charger and standard Samsung earphones.

Specs at a glance

Before we get into the Galaxy A71 and its in-depth review, let’s have a quick look at the key specifications. Here is the list of what the Galaxy A71 is offering in just Rs.31,500: 

  • Display: 6.7-inch sAMOLED Plus, 1080 x 2400 (FHD+)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730
  • RAM & ROM: 8/128GB
  • Software: ONE UI 2.0, Android 10
  • Rear cameras: 64.0MP + 12.0MP + 5.0MP + 5.0MP
  • Selfie camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4500 mAh Battery
  • Weight: 179g
  • Dimensions: 163.6 x 76.0 x 7.7

With key specs discussed, let’s jump right into the review of the Galaxy A71.

Design and Build

Some compromises have been made to restrict the A 71 to its affordable price point. One such department is the form factor. There is a ‘Glastic’ backed design, which is actually plastic that looks like glass. It is designed in that way so as to reduce weight and make it light, without feeling cheap in the hands. There are three colour options to choose from- Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush Silver and Prism Crush Blue. All three colour options retain a glossy finish with rainbow-like effects in bright places. This glastic design, specific to Samsung, is used on many of their mid-budget phones in the Galaxy smartphone series to lower or restrict the production cost to maximize the profit on their budget smartphones. This glastic build would be a change for some users accustomed to using glass backs as in the case of recent smartphones.

galaxy a71 back
Although the Galaxy A71 is made of plastic, the material looks like glass and is really dazzling when it catches lights. The build consists of aluminium sidings in addition to the plastic frame. As a result, the build doesn’t feel cheap and seems sturdy. The only complaint, however, is that there’s no waterproofing here. Another advantage of the plastic build, besides lower costs, is that it provides relatively more protection against cracking in the event of a drop, as compared to the fragile nature of glass backs. Such cracks may prove to be pretty expensive to repair, some even as expensive as the cost of a new phone. However, it is to note that the lack of a glass back makes it compromise on functionality as there is no provision for wireless charging.

Another thing that the Galaxy A71 offers that other Samsung flagships do not is the 3.5-mm headphone jack. The phone is equipped with single bottom-firing speakers instead of dual speakers on either side of the device.

Display

The A71 is a really large phone thanks to its 6.7-inch display but its profile is quite slim and is light and comfortable in the hands. The screen itself is Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel. A flat-screen is adopted in place of curved screen common in other Samsung flagships, and has a 1080p resolution with a punch-hole cutout at the centre on the top for the selfie camera, a departure from the usual trend of teardrop design found on other mid-range smartphones from Samsung.
The display looks great with good sharpness and contrast as you would expect from a Samsung Display. The colours scheme is quite realistic and accurate but tends to be a little monotonous until you turn on the vivid mode. There is no HDR 10 support like the flagships but it would not be a big compromiser on quality.

galaxy a71 front

The good quality plastic build also houses four rear camera lenses, a very large 4500 mAh battery, Snapdragon processors besides other key features not found even in more expensive flagship devices.
The display does a fantastic job when it comes to brightness as well- 410 nits maximum with the slider and up to 515 minutes in bright conditions with the auto mode switched on. The always-on feature of the display is the A71’s method of showing you the time and notifications when it’s asleep. There is also an optical fingerprint reader located under the screen to unlock the phone with. It is usable despite being slow on the reflexes.

Performance

At the core of the Galaxy A71 is a Snapdragon 730 chipset. It comes with 8GB RAM and 128 GB UFS 2.1 storage. It is one of the best mid-range chips available right now and it is a clear upgrade over the Snapdragon 675. The Galaxy A71 does a great job in benchmark scores and runs all of the games, handling high-intensity games like PUBG without any hiccups or overheating.
The storage is UFS 2.1 and although 128GB is plenty of space for your tunes and everything else it is expandable if you need more.

Software

Samsung’s recent phones are all running One UI 2 over Android 10 and the interface is even rolling out to their older phones as well. Overall, the user interface is quite clean and load free. There is also a dark mode for menus which should give you a little bit of energy savings. There is also a new option with Android 10 for gesture navigation, where the back gesture is a swipe from the bottom of the screen.

Cameras

Moving on to the cameras the Galaxy A 71 has an L-shaped quad camera setup. There’s a 64 MP quad-cam, a 12 MP ultra-wide a 5 MP macro cam and a depth sensor. In daylight, the Galaxy A71’s main camera shoots nice 16 MP photos. There’s a good contrast, lively colours, low noise and very good dynamic range. It could be better in terms of fine detail but is not bad for a mid-ranger. There is a 64 MP shooting mode and the results look good though the benefits over the 16 MP photos are minor the file size is quite huge too.
Portraits are taken with the main camera the depth sensor looked very good. They have nice subject detection and separation and a pleasing defocus background. At 12 MP the ultra-wide cam is an upgrade over last year’s 8 MP cam. It has better detail and sharpness as well as punchy colours good dynamic range and low noise.

galaxy a71 camera
Close-ups taken with the macro camera are okay though there could have better fine detail. Also, since the focus is fixed here it’s really tricky to get your subject in focus and shots may come out blurry.
Moving on to low-light photography shots we took with the main camera have nice colours of low noise. However, they are soft and highlights are blown out. Unlike last year’s Galaxy A70 there is a night mode here, and these photos are cropped down to 12 MP. The night mode not only restores the blown highlights but you get more detail in the shadows and the skies. Shots from the ultra-wide are not bad either. Even though they are noisier in less detail than the regular ones, for an ultra-wide at night, these are still quite good. Night mode is available here too and it really makes an improvement. Images are brighter with more detail and less noise.

In terms of selfie cams, though the selfie camera is a 32 MP setup these come out in 12 MP instead of the expected 8 MP. Besides, selfies turned out good with nice colours wide, dynamic range and nice detail. You can record 4K videos with a selfie cam which look quite good but there could have been better stabilization. Another interesting feature in the latest entrant in the A-series is the ability to shoot slow-mo videos.

The slow-mo videos shot by the selfie cam possess up to 1080p resolution and 120 fps. 4K videos recorded with the main camera are shot in 30 fps (frames per second) and are brilliant. There’s more than enough detail, decent dynamic range and great contrast and colours. 4K videos can also be recorded using the ultra-wide camera at the same 30 fps. These are still good though the level of detail is lower and the colours are a bit washed out. The video stabilization on both the main and ultra-wide cams are pretty smooth but can only be used for videos shot in 1080p resolutions. There is also the super steady mode on the ultra-wide for smoother shots.

Battery

In terms of battery, the Galaxy A71 has a big 4,500mAh battery just like last year’s model and it performs just as well too. In proprietary battery tests, it has scored an excellent endurance rating of 102 hours. Charging speed has improved a bit since the A 70. A bundled 25-watt super-fast charger charges the phone from 0 to 50 per cent in half an hour and full battery in almost an hour. The big battery contributes to the big size of the phone, similar to that of Samsung’s latest flagship- the Samsung Galaxy S20+. It has proven to be excellent in long term usage with idle battery-draining being very minimum throughout the day. The powerful battery pushes the phone to the second day of usage without charging, comfortably.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

The audio quality on the Samsung Galaxy A71 through headphones is quite good with above-average loudness and little distortion. The audio quality through the single bottom-firing loudspeaker is also decent compared to that on other recent mid-rangers from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy A71 also supports face unlock. The fingerprint, which is located on-screen, has a decent response with regards to unlocking time. The face sensor, which utilizes the punch-hole setup, is also reasonably quick to react with low unlocking time.

Face unlock, fingerprint sensor, compass, proximity meter, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope are some of the features loaded in the latest entry. Connectivity options on the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G include Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, GPS, Bluetooth v5.00, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G.

Pros & Cons

Verdict

So that's the Samsung Galaxy A 71 with a comfortable and good-looking build in its price range. It boasts of an excellent AMOLED display, a powerful mid-range chipset besides the pretty good camera. In fact, it's the chipset and the cameras which are the main upgrades over the previous model- the Galaxy A70. The low-light photography is especially a massive upgrade over the previous model, the Samsung Galaxy A 70. The plastic build and fast charging capabilities also add to its budget-friendly nature and the user experience respectively. The A71 is not the cheapest phone out there with these kinds of specifications but this is the best Samsung you can get in the A-series and is worth its price.